In the cup game against Halden, the Molde Elite struggled in some aspects but more than made up for them elsewhere.
By MATTHEW LUNN and EDEN GAO (photo)
GRADING GAMES. Molde’s passing rhythms were all out of sync, especially early on. This led to a significant amount of interceptions. Anniken Obaidli and Ines Khouildi together combined for only eight scores on the night, which is well below their average offensive output. Instead, the scoring was spread across more players on the team. The Elite had seven players that scored two or more goals.
One of these players with multiple scores was none other than backup keeper Lina Rypdal. Yes, you read that correctly. Keeper Lina Rypdal had two goals, and she would have had a third if the final buzzer did not negate her last shot. She also had 11 blocked shots, including a penalty save, to earn the match MVP title. Quite a night for her first start of the season.
|First Half||Second Half|
|Second Chance Opportunities||B+||A-|
Two other factors contributed to their victory. First of all, the defensive line was quite solid. As June Andenæs explained:
«We stayed closer together on defense. Sometimes our sides go out too far, and that leaves holes in the middle. We were better about that tonight.»
The second and arguably more important factor was Molde winning almost all of the loose ball fights. Though their fast-break offense usually scored, the half-court offense was struggling to create open shots. Many attempts were blocked or tipped. Winning the loose ball fights gave Molde second chances on offense that they utilized more efficiently.
Lina Rypdal had a quick response when asked about this:
“We just decided before the game that we were going to be warriors.”